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Mental Health Speaker - Awards & Testimonials

• Raising Mental Health Awareness
• Instilling Hope
• Combating Mental Health Stigma

2013 – “Mental Health Recovery Boosters” Award-Winning Finalist: Self-Help Motivational category, USA Best Books 2013 Awards.

2013 - Invited to become member of the International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation (ISEN) newly created Patient Advisory Committee (PAC).

2013 - Nominated for a WEGO Health Activist Award which honors people who made a real difference in how we think about healthcare and living well.

2012 - Invited to become Member of the Nursing Sub-Committee of the International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation (ISEN).

2011 – “Will I Ever Be the Same Again?”, Finalist, Self-Help Category, 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

2010 – “Will I Ever Be the Same Again?”, Award-Winning Finalist, Health:Psychology/Mental Health Category, “Best Books 2010’ Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

2010 - Invited by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) to join their Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP), funded by the SAMHSA Recovery to Practice Grant. The panel advises the grant as well as other activities of the APNA involving psychiatric nursing practice.

2009 - Victorious Woman Award – presented for positively affecting entire families, workplaces, and whole neighborhoods.

2008 - Recipient of the Garden State Seeds of Hope Award presented by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. This award honors exceptional people who go to extraordinary lengths to help and give hope to others. Learn more about the award.


Carol's presentation was the best Grand Rounds we have had at the Cleveland Clinic this year.
Tatiana Falcone, M.D.
Cleveland Clinic

Your unfailing dedication to breaking down the barriers of stigma related to depression and ECT is exemplary. If only others would have the courage to follow in your footsteps, mental health treatment would no longer be hidden in the shadows. Carol, you are a true gift to humanity. I am personally blessed by your life journey and commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals with psychiatric disabilities and their family members as well as your devotion to bringing the real-world into the academic setting.
Specialty Director, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Yale University School of Nursing

Carol Kivler's discussion of her journey is compelling, candid and provocative. Everyone in the audience left not just informed, but transformed.
Joy Jones, Director of Community Relations
Psychiatric Institute of Washington

Thank you, Carol, for having the courage to speak so openly at our Grand Rounds series about your journey of recovery. Your heartfelt testimonial of optimism and resilience is moving and inspirational, and is an invaluable message for professionals and lay people alike.
Jonathan Krejci, Ph.D.
Director of Training and Research, Princeton House Behavioral Health

Your Grand Rounds presentation, “The Other Side of Psychosis” was exceptionally well received by our department. Thank you once again for taking the time from your busy schedule to join us and share your expertise and advocacy.
Joseph Austerman, D.O.
Chair, Psychiatry Grand Rounds Committee
Cleveland Clinic

Both the interns and the more experienced residents were fascinated by Ms. Kivler's talk, and wished for more. She provided living confirmation of many of the things the residents are taught-the effectiveness of ECT, the value of a long term trusting relationship with a psychiatrist, the importance of genuinely listening to the patient, and the impact of ordinary human kindness. The interns could have had no better introduction to the relationship with the patient.
Kimberly R. Best, MD
Albert Einstein Medical Center

Carol Kivler, M.S. smashes the common stereotype of the unemployed, incapable or demented individual with a mental illness. Her message of recovery, productivity and successful living is one that any individual who has, lives with or is a health care provider must hear. A successful business woman, courageous advocate and warm human being make Mrs. Kivler, a voice of reason and hope for all whose lives are touched by mental illness.
(Rev) Ben Evans, DD, DNP, RN, APN, Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurse Associate Vice President, Behavioral Health Services, Bergen Regional Medical Center

We had the pleasure of having Carol as our Keynote Speaker at the New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association's annual conference this year. The keynote, Putting the Face of “HOPE” on Mental Health Awareness: Help, Offer, Partner, Erase, was both informative and inspirational. The honesty in which Carol shared her personal experience was quite moving and reminded us all of the power of hope in recovery.
Jennifer Sperduto, MS, CPRP
New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association

In a world where spin is king, Carol Kivler is not only a breath of fresh air; she is messenger of common sense, integrity, experience and humility. Four qualities that are desperately needed in making our mental health systems quality foundations for successful support of the individuals they serve and their recovery process. It is no surprise that over 300 individuals gave her a standing ovation at our yearly conference. Human beings seem to recognize and honor real truth when it is spoken. Stigma in this field results when individuals are afraid to speak their truth because their experience may not support a current professional/family/consumer theory, or belief, no matter how well intentioned. There is no one size fits all. Carol's honesty about what worked and what didn't for her is an example of the type of dialogue that should be ongoing if we hope to make recovery a reality and expand our knowledge base to become more successful than we believe is currently possible. Her ABC's of Recovery and its contents reveal the importance of personal responsibility, choice, and healthy habits that support an individual going forward in their recovery process. Taking responsibility to care for yourself first so you actually have something to give to family, those you love and the world is old wisdom. Carol makes the old wisdom new and makes it shine. In today's world it is much needed. Carol was a shining example of what the hope of one person's story, experience, and hard earned wisdom can bring to those who are willing to listen.
Wendy Wood
Director of Opportunity and Networking
Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association

Carol Kivler is an inspiration! The story of her own courageous battle with depression is tremendously encouraging. For an entertaining, dynamic and moving speaker on the challenges of living in recovery from mental illness you will definitely want to invite Carol to be your keynote speaker.
Mary Berger
President, NAMI Delaware

Thank you so much for your inspiring words today. I feel like I've been given a "booster shot" and ready to take on another challenge.
You are a wonderfully kind woman.
Diana Fullem
Recovery InSight, Inc.

- As a person who struggles with anxiety and depression and is working in healthcare, your presentation was equally educational and heartfelt.

- Great great great presentation! Keeping us rejuvenated and passionate for the clients we are privileged to serve!!

- She was wonderful! I appreciated her honesty, humor, and vulnerability. She lives her values! What an example! Thank you!

- Ms. Kivler is an excellent speaker and the work she is doing is absolutely invaluable. She's a gift to the mental health world and humanity. Thanks!
Speaker very eloquent and personable.

- Thank you for sharing your story. Your courage and information is very helpful and inspiring.

Attendees - Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

Thank you, Carol, for your personal testimony of hope and empowerment. The nursing students were touched by your willingness to share of your own life and your avowed ministry of fighting the social stigma of mental illness. Your message to care for the body, mind, and spirit of each individual was spoken clearly and memorably. Your presentation on ECT helped dispel some myths and encouraged a more informed perspective. Thank you again for your generous gift of words and spirit.
Marina Lutz, MSN, RN, Division of Nursing and Health Science
Neumann University

I want to thank you for presenting as our keynote speaker for this year's conference. You are a very inspiring and dynamic speaker. Sharing your first-hand experience so openly with the audience was very moving and really touched the hearts of us all. You have reminded me that there is always hope for recovery and the small things that we do on a daily basis can really make a difference in the lives of those we serve in the field of vocational rehabilitation services.
Amy M. Kaboski, MS, LRC, CRC, CPRP, NCC, DCC
President, New Jersey Rehabilitation Association

Carol was able to provide insight and I was amazed at her courage for being able to share her story, even her darkest moments. I was also more enlightened about the difficult journey that so many of our patients experience and I learned how important it is to instill even the smallest amount of hope in the lives of our patients.
Patricia Cole, MSN, RN
Prince William Health System

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for appearing on "American Family" to share your story about overcoming depression. You were absolutely dynamite! Your discussion was not only informative, setting a positive example for others who suffer from clinical depression but also very powerful emotionally. The insights and honesty you offered on the challenges of successfully overcoming depression were right on the money and extremely well articulated. You should be very proud of your own journey. You are certainly an inspiration to me!
Bettina Gregory
Host, GoodLife TV Network

We were very fortunate that you were able to speak to us about your illness this past Tuesday. I believe that your presentation made a real impact on the researchers here. I have had nothing but positive comments from many of my co-workers about your presentation. I came away inspired, knowing that the medicines we are striving to develop truly make a difference in real peoples' lives. I've always believed that, but real experiences and faces mean much more.
Albert Uveges
Scientist, Wyeth Research

Every time Carol recounts her own experiences with mental illness and recovery she demonstrates that people who have mental illness can and do recover and live productive lives. By standing up and speaking out, Carol is breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness one audience at a time.
Jerry Lindauer
Executive Director, NAMI-Mercer (National Alliance of Mental Illness)

It was our pleasure to have you come and speak with us. You were truly inspirational, and in fact made the research group realize that indeed our work is important and can impact the lives of others. Many times in our discipline scientists find themselves caught up in the scientific details and forget the true goal. Your presentation has further motivated us and will not be forgotten.
Lee E. Schechter, Ph.D., Director, Depression and Anxiety Research, Wyeth Research

What can I say? Your presentation was absolutely incredible! My students were riveted to their seats. You have opened up their eyes in ways I never could have. Your presentation has changed not only their professional lives but their personal lives as well.

I have spoken to my colleagues, and we want you to come back again next year and speak to all of our students!
Donna A. Gaffney, RN, DNSc, FAAN, Seton Hall University

Carol's presentation was well regarded by the attendees of our New Jersey Nursing Students annual convention. The students expressed that they learned so much from her, were inspired by her, and that they would recommend her presentation to other attendees. As one student stated "the room was packed and rightfully so". On behalf of NJNS, we appreciate your dedication to the education of nursing students and hope that you will return for our next convention, in a larger room!
Candace White, RN, Second-Vice President, New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc.

Bravo! Carol! Your personal story was extremely enlightening both personally and professionally. Not only did you take the negative stigma away from mental illness for me, you reinforced the very reason why I chose to go into nursing in the first place to make a difference.
Nursing Student, Seton Hall University

Thank you for your optimism, your wisdom, and courage that you shared today. I will remember you and your story and hopefully make a difference in someone's life.
Nursing Student, Seton Hall University

Carol Kivler brought home the humanity and the anguish of mental illness. She is so brave to take her experience on the road and speak so frankly. Thank you, Carol.
Nursing Student, Seton Hall University

Carol has given me the courage to approach not only patients suffering from mental illness but also a lot of suggestions for dealing with patients with physical illness. There isn't such a large difference between the two populations (beyond the stigma, of course).
Nursing Student, Seton Hall University

Thank you for sharing your personal story with us. Your journey is so inspiring and your remarks were so comforting to those of us who are filled with hope for our loved ones with mental illness. It is terrific that your message is reaching more and more people, as you are an outstanding role model and advocate.
Carol Nied, Development Committee, NAMI-Mercer

Carol Kivler's experiences need to be communicated to all employees.
Attendee, St. Barnabas Behavioral Health Center